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Litigating Human Rights Before Sub-Regional Courts in Africa: Prospects and Challenges

Litigating Human Rights Before Sub-Regional Courts in Africa: Prospects and Challenges SOLOMON T. EBOBRAH∗ I. INTRODUCTION One of the consequences of the partitioning of Africa by the colonialists was that at independence, most African states emerged as economically and politically fragile states that experienced difficulty surviving against the forces of superior Western economies. Not surprisingly, as the first waves of independence moved over the continent, nationalist leaders began to call for political and economic integration in order to ensure realist survival of African states. However, not every nationalist was enthusiastic about political and economic integration and this led to a huge ideological divide in the early 1960s. The result of this ideological divide was that the intended ‘United States of Africa’ did not materialise immediately after independence.1 Instead, a relatively weak political integration process began at the continental level with the formation of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) in 1963. Not surprisingly, it was at the sub-regional level that economic integration began in Africa. At inception, regional economic communities (RECs) in Africa generally stuck with their economic focus leaving the political issues to the wider continental forum. With respect to human rights, the feeling among some African leaders was that the issue was too political and could be http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png African Journal of International and Comparative Law Edinburgh University Press

Litigating Human Rights Before Sub-Regional Courts in Africa: Prospects and Challenges

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Publisher
Edinburgh University Press
Copyright
© Edinburgh University Press 2009
Subject
African Studies
ISSN
0954-8890
eISSN
1755-1609
DOI
10.3366/E0954889009000292
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

SOLOMON T. EBOBRAH∗ I. INTRODUCTION One of the consequences of the partitioning of Africa by the colonialists was that at independence, most African states emerged as economically and politically fragile states that experienced difficulty surviving against the forces of superior Western economies. Not surprisingly, as the first waves of independence moved over the continent, nationalist leaders began to call for political and economic integration in order to ensure realist survival of African states. However, not every nationalist was enthusiastic about political and economic integration and this led to a huge ideological divide in the early 1960s. The result of this ideological divide was that the intended ‘United States of Africa’ did not materialise immediately after independence.1 Instead, a relatively weak political integration process began at the continental level with the formation of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) in 1963. Not surprisingly, it was at the sub-regional level that economic integration began in Africa. At inception, regional economic communities (RECs) in Africa generally stuck with their economic focus leaving the political issues to the wider continental forum. With respect to human rights, the feeling among some African leaders was that the issue was too political and could be

Journal

African Journal of International and Comparative LawEdinburgh University Press

Published: Mar 1, 2009

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